• Marshbird Biological Assistant

    Job Locations
    US-LA-Baton Rouge
    Seasonal, Full-Time
    Job Category
    Baton Rouge
  • Overview

    Now in its second century, Audubon is dedicated to protecting birds and other wildlife and the habitat that supports them. Audubon’s mission is engaging people in bird conservation on a hemispheric scale through science, policy, education and on-the-ground conservation action.  By mobilizing and aligning its network of Chapters, Centers, State and Important Bird Area programs in the four major migratory flyways in the Americas, the organization will bring the full power of Audubon to bear on protecting common and threatened bird species and the critical habitat they need to survive.  And as part of BirdLife International, Audubon will join people in over 100 in-country organizations all working to protect a network of Important Bird Areas around the world, leveraging the impact of actions they take at a local level.  What defines Audubon’s unique value is a powerful grassroots network of nearly 500 local chapters, 23 state offices, 41 Audubon Centers, Important Bird Area Programs in 50 states, and 700 staff across the country.  Audubon is a federal contractor and an Equal Opportunity Employer (EOE).


    A lack of understanding of the temporal and spatial distribution of the Black Rail (Laterallus jamaicensis) in Louisiana has resulted in an inability to (1) study basic aspects of the species’ biology in this part of the range and (2) implement effective conservation measures to benefit this species. Without knowing when and where the Black Rail occurs in the state, restoration and management efforts will be unable to account for the habitat needs of this rare and declining species. This project seeks to build upon two-years of research to locate Black Rails in coastal Louisiana, describe important habitat on which they depend, and understand their responses to fire management.

    Position Summary

    Supervised by the Director of Bird Conservation, the Marshbird Biological Assistant will work closely with Audubon Louisiana’s Marshbird Biologist to conduct point-count and drag-line surveys. By assisting with this project, the Marshbird Biological Assistant will gain experience and learn from experts in the field of conservation and avian ecology, while gaining practical skills in ornithological research, monitoring techniques, and volunteer coordination. 

    This position is expected to work 40 hours per week between February and July 2020.


    Please submit a cover letter, resume, and a list of three references with your application by December 15, 2019.

    Essential Functions

    • Conduct point count and vegetation surveys at remote sites across south Louisiana. Most point count surveys will begin one hour before sunrise or one-two hours before sunset and last 2-3 hours, preceded or followed by vegetation surveys.
    • Assist in rail banding efforts 1-2 nights per week, up to 6 times per month, beginning 30 minutes after sundown and lasting +/- four hours. Most rail banding will occur on weekend evenings.
    • Assist in data entry as needed.
    • Be expected to travel 3-5 days per week, often staying in hotels, camp grounds, shared bunk houses, and other similar facilities to conduct field work.

    Qualifications and Experience

    • Must have completed a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Biology, Ecology, Natural Resources, Agricultural Sciences, or a related field;
    • Must be willing to work long hours outside under physically demanding conditions (hot, cold, biting insects, etc.); with or without accommodation
    • Must be able to walk over a mile through various wet and dry marsh habitats with or without accommodation. This includes tall & dense grass oftentimes with uneven footing, shallow pools, and scrubby vegetation;
    • Must have strong organizational skills and great attention to detail;
    • Excellent interpersonal and oral communication skills;
    • Experience driving ATVs and/or operating outboard motorboats are a plus;
    • Valid driver’s license and reliable personal vehicle (mileage will be reimbursed at the current Federal rate);
    • Must live in, or be willing to temporarily move, to south Louisiana.


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